Rising star Awkwafina, who will be seen alongside Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett in next summer's Ocean's Eight, has signed on to star in the new comedy Crazy Rich Asians. The actress joins a cast that is lead by Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu and Henry Golding, who play young couple Rachel and Nick at the center of this film. Awkwafina will play Rachel's college friend Peik Lin, with production getting under way on this Warner Bros. comedy featuring an entirely Asian cast.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that this project is based on Kevin Kwan's best-selling book that was published in 2013. The story centers on Rachel (Constance Wu), an American-born Chinese economics professor, who heads to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick (Henry Golding) for a wedding in his hometown. It doesn't take long for the truth to come out, that Nick is from an incredibly wealthy family and that Nick is one of the most eligible bachelors in all of Asia, as all of the women in Nick's elite social class trying to take Rachel down.
The supporting cast includes Gemma Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Chris Pang, Sonoya Mizuno, Jing Lusi and Ronny Chieng. Production will take place exclusively in Singapore and Malaysia, with several Singaporean actors such as Pierre Png, Fiona Xie and Tan Kheng Hua rounding out the supporting cast. Warner Bros. hasn't set a release date for Crazy Rich Asians at this time, and it remains to be seen how long production is expected to last for.
Jon M. Chu is directing from a script by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim. Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson (The Hunger Games) are producing through their Color Force company, along with Ivanhoe's John Penotti. Tim Coddington and Robert Friedland are also serving as executive producers alongside the author Kevin Kwan. Pete Chiarelli and Jon M. Chu previously worked together on last summer's sequel Now You See Me 2, with Adele Lim making her feature writing debut after writing and producing on TV show such as Star-Crossed, Reign and currently Fox's hit Lethal Weapon series.
Awkwafina got her start in the entertainment industry as a New York-based rapper, before quickly building a strong acting career as well. She was featured in the TV series Girl Code in 2014, and she made her feature film debut in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Universal's hit comedy sequel from last year. She also voiced Quail on the animated comedy Storks and she will next be seen in Dude, starring Lucy Hale, and Ocean's Eight. With production now under way on Crazy Rich Asians, hopefully we'll hear more about this new comedy.